Skip to main content

Latin America and Caribbean Sign Historic Internet Agreement with ICANN

São Paulo, Brasil, 5 December 2006: ICANN today signed a historic agreement with Latin American and Caribbean Internet user groups that will benefit all users across the region. Called the Latin America - Caribbean Regional At-Large Organisation (RALO), the group consists of twenty-two Internet user groups from across the region that have forged a regional consensus on a means to provide individual user input to ICANN. This is the first such agreement that has been reached.

Commenting on the agreement, Dr Paul Twomey, President and CEO of ICANN, said: “This is a good day for the Internet in Latin America and the Caribbean. These diverse groups have volunteered their time and passion to achieve a historic consensus. This is the first region to agree a regional forum to enhance user cooperation an input to ICANN policy development. They and the broader Latin America and the Caribbean can be proud of both their leadership role and commitment to the interests of individual internet users.”

By signing this agreement, the Latin America and Caribbean region leads the world in terms of Internet user representation and democracy. Other geographical regions are currently working to develop their own groups.

Adding his thoughts on the agreement, Vint Cerf, Chairman of ICANN said: “This is wonderful news for Internet users in Latin America and the Caribbean. Agreements like this one ensure that users remain key stakeholders in the Internet’s ongoing development. It comes as no surprise to me that the Latin America is at the forefront of user democracy, given the level or regional development and interest in Internet issues.”

More Announcements
Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."